Lubbock Jazz & Blues Festival Features the Duke Ellington Orchestra

Area schools participate in a weekend of clinics, master classes, guest artist performances, and festival competition.

If you like to swing, then next weekend is your thing.

The 41st Annual Jazz & Blues Festival on March 28-29 features two full days of clinics and performances.

The festival, which features the Reggie Thomas Organ Trio and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, is designed to bring great jazz to the community and hone the skills of 250 budding musicians from area junior high and high schools. For the last 40 years, the Texas Tech University School of Music, in conjunction with Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity, has invited secondary school band students to this two-day event.

"This is an opportunity to bring the community together for a weekend of great jazz," said Brad Leali, director of jazz studies at Texas Tech’s School of Music. "It’s also an excellent opportunity for Texas Tech educators to offer some outreach education to the community."

The March 28 concert features Texas Tech University’s premiere jazz group, Jazz Ensemble I, and the Reggie Thomas Organ Trio with Wes Anderson on alto saxophone and Andrew Griffith on drums. Leali directs the event. The evening of jazz is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Allen Theatre in the Student Union Building on the Texas Tech campus.

Then, as part of the Presidential Lecture & Performance Series' spring season, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, directed by Ellington alumnus Barrie Lee Hall Jr., will perform at 8 p.m. March 29 in the Allen Theatre. Tickets are $10 for general admission plus a $2-$2.50 surcharge through Select-a-Seat. Texas Tech students may obtain free tickets upon presentation of a student ID at the Student Union Building ticket booth (two tickets per student ID). Call Select-A-Seat at (806) 770-2000.

Throughout the festival, musicians and educators will host master classes and clinics for the students; and the various school ensembles get the chance to compete, perform, and attend concerts by professional jazz musicians. Participating Texas schools include Amarillo, El Paso and Allen.

In addition to the weekend of educational activities, The Caldwell Trio and members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra will play together at all-star jam sessions that start at 8 p.m. on March 28-29. These sessions will be at La Diosa Wine Cellars in the Depot District, 901 17th St.
CONTACT: Brad C. Leali, director of jazz studies at Texas Tech University’s School of Music, (806) 742-2270 ext. 260 or